All posts tagged counseling

How to Survive a Tough Transition

One year ago, our family began the most difficult transitional challenge of our lives. God called us away from comfort and security, and into a journey of seeing a hurting church revitalized by His grace. We were terrified. In many ways, we still are. But a nearly a year into it, God’s grace has sustained us and taken us on a journey we would not trade for anything. God has been glorified at EBC, and He is moving in people’s hearts and lives. That makes the journey worth every step. Yet, the transition has been pretty tough at times—planting new…

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Trusting God in Tragedy

Seven Biblical Responses to Overwhelming Events This post is simply a resource for those who are hurting or know someone who is hurting. To hear the message from our Sunday morning service yesterday, CLICK HERE. Yesterday we studied “Trusting God in Tragedy”—seven biblical responses to overwhelming events. Perhaps they will encourage you in your time of trial, or perhaps you could share these principles and the message above with someone who is hurting! Here are the responses we studied in the life of Mary as she received tragic but wonderful news that shattered her world and shredded her life plan….

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Passionate Parenting is At Press!

UPDATE: Passionate Parenting is now available through Striving Together Publications. Find out more at this link! The past Spring, the Lord allowed me to complete a book entitled “Passionate Parenting—Enjoying the Journey of Parenting Teens.” This past week, this new 250 page hard-back book is finally at press and will be available sometime around early December. I think this is the scariest book I’ve ever worked on. Why? Because I’m still working very hard at this skill-set! And my kids will be the first to tell you, that their dad is very much a work in progress. I wrestled with…

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The Only Certainty We Really Need

We want to minimize risk. We want to hedge our bets. We want safety. We want predictability. We want a guarantee. We want a “warranty” on our decisions—the sense that it’s all going to “work out.” In short, we want certainty of outcomes. Eg: “If I do this, then things will work out this way…” Aside from being impossible—it removes faith from the equation. Since we can’t see the future, much less control it, any sense of certainty (in and of ourselves) is merely a mirage. It’s a game we play to feel better—to feel “in control.” In truth, we only need certainty…

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Making it Easy to Make it Right…

Not long ago, God gave us the privilege of helping some young people and their families through difficult trial. Satan had laid a cleverly disguised trap, sin had occurred, and as a result everyone involved was hurting. To make a long story short, God gave a wonderful victory over the period of many weeks. Hearts were softened, Christians responded with grace toward one another, kids and parents were reconciled, and hearts were realigned with God’s direction and purpose. Things broken were healed. Lives out of fellowship were restored. God was good through a very tough situation. The whole experience was…

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Spiritual Weapons for Wayward Kids

What can you do when your grown children begin to stray spiritually? I’ve seen a lot of parents hurt, mystified, and shaken by sudden and radical spiritual changes in the lives of their adult children. I realize, one day I may be one of them—and so could you. In these moments, some parents grasp for control—trying to maintain a mythical strangle-hold of childhood authority. This always escalates a situation to become worse and creates greater distance relationally and spiritually. In a wild swing to the other extreme—some parents abandon their post of parental influence. They mentally, emotionally, and spiritually disconnect with an…

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Repost: 3 Reasons to Get Good Advice

Isn’t it amazing how often people venture into major life-changing decisions without getting any outside, biblical advice. Why do we do this to ourselves? Sometimes we fear that a counselor will have a private agenda and won’t counsel us honestly. At other times, we presume to know what our counselors will say, and rationalize it away without even talking to them. But the most common reason we don’t get advice is because we would rather not hear what we already know. Self deception is a scary thing—we would rather be wrong and fantasize that things will work out, than really…

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Book Review: Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

I just completed reading one of the most practical, helpful, well-written books about the Christian life that I’ve ever read. I wanted to share it with you. Coming out of my cancer struggle, the Lord allowed my path to cross the book entitled “Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health” by Donald S. Whitney. It was timely, because I desired to step back and assess my life before the Lord, before I just resumed my “pre-cancer” mentality. I wanted to emerge from the cancer struggle with a deeper walk with the Lord, having grown in His grace through the trial….

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Response #1 to The Saddest Letter

Wow! The “Saddest Letter” post provoked a lot of interesting discussion! Since I received it a week ago, I too have been pondering my response, and in many ways, those who commented touched on many of the things that have been on my heart. For reasons of length and direction, I think my response will break down into three posts. The first will be a general response to the broader issues. The second, a response to parents and spiritual authorities. The third, a personal response to the young lady who wrote the letter, and to her generation.

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Saddest Letter I’ve Ever Read

Parents and Pastors—Please Read!! I received this letter from a young lady last week—a Bible college student who grew up in a Christian home and Christian school. I believe it’s the saddest letter I’ve ever read and right on the mark for so detailing the experiences of so many young Christians. I asked her permission to post it. Please read. Her words will greatly challenge you as a parent or pastor: Dear Pastor Schmidt, A few years ago, I read your books Hook, Line, and Sinker, Discover Your Destiny, and Life Quest. I found them to be extremely encouraging and…

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More Stuff Christians Should Stop Doing

Hello from left field again! Apparently a lot of you have brains that spend time in left field as well, because the post that I almost didn’t post turned out to be one that many of you responded to. Thank you for the comments, emails, messages and for those who referred the first half of this article to others. One friend said, “Thanks for the slap in the face—I needed that.” I laughed. I guess it was a bit of a “wake up call” but at least I slapped myself first, if that’s any consolation. So, in the first post…

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Stuff Christians Need to Stop Doing

This is a bit out of left field—but that’s where my brain has been spending a lot of time lately, so here goes. Over the past few months, I’ve been making a short list of really bad habits—not like nail-biting or over-eating. These are more elusive bad habits—and a lot more dangerous. They are the things that tend to creep in—emphasis on CREEP—when life takes a turn we didn’t approve of. These are attitudes or behaviors we tend to default into when expectations go unmet, or dreams are left unfulfilled—when our hopes are smashed on the rocks of disappointment.

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Oswald Chambers is “The Man!” (or was…)

Lately, especially while battling cancer, I’ve been greatly encouraged by devotionals from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest.” Nearly every day the Lord has blessed my life by something profound from this man’s heart. So in this post, I’m shot-gunning a collection of quotes that have been significant to me and why. I hope they will prove a blessing and useful to you! Quote 1—Regarding Obedience to Christ: “What an astonishment it will be to see, once the veil is finally lifted, all the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you have been in the habit…

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Things I’d Like to Say to Every Young Adult

Here’s a quick list of things I wish I could say to every young adult! 1. You are of eternal value and significance because God doesn’t make junk. Regardless of who mistreated you, what lies you’ve been told, or how bad your past has been—you have a future and God has good plans for you. Life can be bad, but God’s heart is always good! And only He can turn the bad into good. (Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an…

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7 Powerful Practices for Healthy Families (2)

This is part two of this article. You can read part one here. In the first four practices we’ve seen these principles: Regularly ask for the filling of God’s Spirit, pray together consistently, resolve conflict immediately, and play together abundantly. Let’s move on: Step Five—Grow and Serve Together Continually. Local church is huge for healthy family life. Contentious families generally treat church with a casual, half-heartedness. It’s easily tossed aside for a Sunday night movie, a birthday, or a ball game. While church isn’t an immediate “fix-all” for every family problem, it is a vital and essential part of the…

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7 Powerful Practices for Healthy Families

Brokenness is standard fare for families in today’s culture. Many homes are literally broken apart, while many others are broken from within. In fact, brokenness has become the norm. In today’s American family, strife, contention, anger, and resentment are quite common. Weak marriages, frustrated parents, sin ravaged home environments, argumentative teens, neglected children—this is the stuff of family life in 2010. Sad. The fact that Christian homes also fall into this category is even more sad. Brokenness is certainly not what God intended. Perhaps this article finds your family in the midst of brokenness—your home life has been reduced to…

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How to Survive a Rough Day

One Sunday evening this past summer, Dr. Don Sisk preached at Lancaster Baptist. He shared one of the most encouraging messages I’ve ever heard! It was entitled “How to Survive a Rough Day” and it shared seven appropriate responses when things are going against you. Dr. Sisk began the message with this humorous reading summarizing the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:

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Discipline that Develops the Heart

Ten Biblical Principles for Winning Your Child’s Heart How do you discipline your children? Here are ten Biblical principles for handling discipline biblically and in a way that truly develops the heart of your child. Discipline that develops the heart… 1. Is Controlled and Premeditated—It doesn’t fly off the handle or out of control. Proverbs 16:32, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.” Colossians 3:21, “Fathers provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

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Becoming an Insightful Parent

Becoming an Insightful Parent Discerning Your Child’s Needs and Responding Biblically Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Do you understand your children? Do you know how to interpret their behavior? Do you understand warning signs and know how to respond? Do you connect their outward behavior with the condition of their heart? In Hebrews 5:12-13 we read a challenge to believers to be skillful in the Word and discerning, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that…

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Ministry Idea: 3 Questions

Are you looking for a good way to get to know your students or those to whom you minister? Here’s a quick and simple way to get a glimpse into the heart and cause someone to think more deeply. This past week, in our 12th grade Sunday school class and at our Single Life retreat, we did a short assignment that really helped me understand where the students are in their hearts and on their spiritual journeys. It’s an easy exercise, but informative, and it causes someone to pause and take inventory spiritually.

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